CURRENT PRESS RELEASE - January 7, 2017

PFLAG Austin Opposes Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's Proposition for Anti-LGBTQ SB6 Legislation

PFLAG Austin emphatically opposes the proposed SB6 legislation, billed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as one of his "Top Ten Legislative Priorities". SB6 is highly unnecessary, discriminatory, pointless, hypocritical, and dangerous.

SB6 is unnecessary because any offenses that might be prevented by SB6, whether perpetrated by men or women, transgender or cisgender, is already illegal, per Texas Penal Code Chapter 21, "Sexual Offenses". Barring transgender women from women's restroom will do nothing to enhance or diminish those offenses.

Legislations such as SB6 are discriminatory because that they are initiated, authored, voted on, and signed into law by straight white male legislators, and target the transgender minority. SB6, ostensibly authored by a female Republican State Senator, has been one of Dan Patrick's "Top Ten Legislative Priorities" from long before the bill's genesis.

SB6 is pointless because everybody, women and girls included, spend vastly more time outside of restrooms than in. If one is concerned about men's predatory treatment of women and girls, or about "privacy" of women and girls, policing restroom usage will do little to achieve those goals.

SB6 is hypocritical because at the same time that the Texas government rails about "Federal intrusion into local governance", it is intruding into the governance of its own political subdivisions.

It sets a lower standard for the state government usurping locale governance.

It purports to be about privacy, but its Section 2 (b) will also forbid local municipalities from adopting their own less intrusive regulations on restroom use.

SB6 is dangerous because it lowers the bar for discriminatory behavior and discriminatory legislation. If it's a matter of transgender women (who are obviously so) making cisgender women uncomfortable in sharing their restroom, will there be a law mandating that Muslim women wearing hijab use a separate facility because they make white Christian women uncomfortable? How about very flamboyant gay men in men's restrooms?

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PRESS RELEASE - November 30, 2016

PFLAG Austin Expressing Support for Dripping Springs ISD School Board on Restroom Use Policy

PFLAG Austin equivocally supports the Dripping Springs ISD School Board in their enlightened and inclusive decision to make restroom use by a transgender girl a non-issue, as it should be.  PFLAG Austin are pleased that the girl can live her life as normally and equally as all other girls in her school.

Attempts to make restroom use a safety issue speak more to the mindset of advocates of segregation and bigotry than to actual safety.  There is no evidence that transgender people are a safety threat. Indeed, transgender women are 1.8 times more likely to experience sexual violence. Nearly 80% of transgender people report experiencing harassment at school when they were young. In general, LGBTQ people are more likely to be target of hate crimes than any other minority group. With that reality, it is impossible to make the case that population transgender children are a threat to other children.

Some parents have asserted that it is not proper for transgender children to share restrooms and showers with cisgender children because of differences in anatomy.  There is concern that some children will feel uncomfortable.  Anna Nguyen, President of PFLAG Austin says: "If discomfort is an issue, what shall we do when some students feel uncomfortable around differently abled students?  Students with darker skin tones?  Students with autism?  Should we have policies to exclude them as well?"

"We believe that treating one minority differently is bigotry," Ms. Nguyen continues. "We should be encouraging children to embrace diversity and to be compassionate to others, not to be judgmental and exclusionary. We cannot claim moral high grounds of 'family values' and 'Christianity' and yet be practicing something else."


PFLAG Austin is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and approved chapter of PFLAG National. Their mission is to support Central Texas LGBTQ people, as well as the parents, families, and friends of LGBTQ people, by offering free monthly support groups. PFLAG also provides education and outreach at public events such as TDOR and Austin’s LGBTQ Pride events. 

For more information, please visit www.pflagaustin.org.

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Press Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Further Information
Contact: Melita Noël
PFLAG Vice President of Membership
vp.membership@pflagaustin.org
 

PFLAG Austin Board Members To Speak at Transgender Day of Remembrance
Memorializing transgender people who have been murdered.

Austin, November 18, 2016 --- On November 20, at 6:30 pm, PFLAG Austin Board members will speak at the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) event on the steps of Austin’s City Hall. The Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) once again sponsors this annual vigil to memorialize transgender people, throughout the world, who have been killed as a result of their perceived gender diversity. This year, Austin's TDOR will focus on challenges facing transgender women of color. As a community partner serving the LGBTQ community and their friends and family, PFLAG Austin will offer the perspective of parents of LGBTQ children.

“As the parent of a transgender child, this event is a safe space for my family to gather with the larger community to mourn loved ones lost, and give comfort and hope to those who must survive in the aftermath of these tragic deaths as a result of transphobia and fear,” says Ms. Lisa Maudlin, PFLAG Austin’s Director of Membership. “My entire family –especially my transgender and cisgender children - benefits from witnessing the outpouring of love and support on this night of mourning.”

PFLAG Austin will also acknowledge the role that the annual TDOR event has in offering education and outreach to better support the transgender community. PFLAG Austin’s Vice President of Membership, Melita Noël, will address fears around so-called “bathroom bills” and the #PeeInPeace project sponsored by PFLAG Austin.

Ms. Noël says, “PFLAG Austin is well positioned to not only offer a safe and supportive group environment – at no cost - to many Central Texans, but also advocate for transgender rights for youth and adults alike right from the heart of Texas with projects such as #PeeInPeace. This grassroots outreach, in the form of a simple sign, informs the community about Austin’s ordinance for public, single stall, lockable restrooms to be labeled with gender neutral signage.”

PFLAG Austin is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and approved chapter of PFLAG National. Their mission is to support Central Texas LGBTQ people, as well as the parents, families, and friends of LGBTQ people, by offering free monthly support groups. PFLAG also provides education and outreach at public events such as TDOR and Austin’s LGBTQ Pride events.

For more information, please visit www.pflagaustin.org.

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Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, straight allies, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. Now in its 41st year, PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in all 50 states and numerous countries worldwide. To learn more, visit http://www.pflagaustin.org/.